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Top stories from the string music world

Focus Tuesday, 10 June 2014

How to breathe freely when playing a stringed instrument

Ruth Phillips describes how she persuades musicians to rediscover their body and their instrument through the gentle art of inhaling

The in-breath followed by the out-breath is a form of expansion and contraction, which is the essence of bowing; it is receiving and giving inspiration, which is the essence of performance; it is tension...

News Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Australian Chamber Orchestra adds rare Guarneri violin to its collection

The 1714 Joseph Guarneri 'filius Andreae' has been bought for US$1.35m

The Australian Chamber Orchestra has added another rare instrument to its collection – a violin made by Joseph Guarneri 'filius Andreae' in 1714, and purchased for US$1.35m. Certain features of...

Focus Monday, 09 June 2014

10 ways to maximise tone projection for string players

Tips on projecting your sound from over 120 years of The Strad

The first prerequisite to having a beautiful tone is to have the sound in your head. Just like we speak with the accent of the language we hear, we will want to produce a tone like those we hear from...

News Monday, 09 June 2014

Detroit Symphony Orchestra appoints Kevin Brown as new principal double bass

The 27-year-old has been a regular guest musician with major orchestras throughout the US

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has appointed Kevin Brown as its new principal double bass from the 2014-15 season. The 27-year-old from Minnesota graduated from Rice University in 2013 and is a regular...

News Monday, 09 June 2014

Metropolitan Opera must cut orchestra and chorus wages to avoid bankruptcy, says manager

Negotiations are currently taking place, but unions have threatened strike action

Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb has warned the New York company could face bankruptcy in two or three years if it does not cut the cost of orchestra and chorus wages. Speaking on BBC Radio...

Blogs Friday, 06 June 2014

Tackling the demands of Richard Strauss orchestral works

Boston Symphony Orchestra violinist Jason Horowitz gives advice on how to approach some of the most famous – and challenging – works of the great late-Romantic composer

Every work by Strauss contains the difficulties of his entire oeuvre; questions of weight and importance, both within a phrase and within an orchestral texture, play an important role in the orchestral...

News Friday, 06 June 2014

West Dean College instrument making tutor Shem Mackey receives QEST Award

The Award for excellence in British craftsmanship recognises his contribution to instrument making through research and tuition

Shem Mackey has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) Award for Excellence in British craftsmanship. The postgraduate programme leader in Making Stringed Musical Instruments at West...

Focus Thursday, 05 June 2014

7 techniques to combat stage fright

How often has a potential performance of a lifetime turned into a performance from hell? Are you suffering from stage fright? Laurinel Owen gives advice on overcoming this common affliction

Performing has many rewards, yet stage fright may cause you to forget why you love music. In working out a programme for stress management don't lose sight of the reasons why you perform and bear in...

News Thursday, 05 June 2014

Strasbourg Music Festival 2014 cancelled due to poor ticket sales

The French festival was due to open next week with 15 events

The Festival de Musique de Strasbourg has been cancelled just days before it was due to commence on 8 June due to poor advance ticket sales. The festival’s original schedule of 33 concerts had...

Focus Wednesday, 04 June 2014

From the Archive: advice for budding orchestral players

Chas J Rockwell compiled a list of handy rules for less experienced orchestral players in The Strad's July 1893 issue

1. Cultivate your sense of hearing. Insist on and see to it that your instrument is in proper tune with itself and the rest of the orchestra.

2. Accustom yourself...

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